Sri Lanka's insurance regulator is hoping to spend more time this year developing the market and creating awareness about the importance of insurance. "We hope to spend a lot of time in developing the market and creating awareness of an important segmentthat not many people in rural communities are aware of," noted Chandri Gunawardhana, Director General of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL), adding that rural Sri Lanka is still an untapped market. He also referred to the growing segment of ageing people in the population which eventually leads to issues like health insurance, pensions and connected products.
The industry is expected to record 20 % growth for 2011 with final statistics from insurance companies due by June. In a separate statement this week, the IBSL said it has temporarily suspended the issue of new licences from April 27 in view of a large number of applications. The decision was taken in consultation with the insurance industry. Commenting on this development, Mr Gunawardhana, said there are 20 applications that are pending which will be reviewed. The industry currently has 20 companies with five major players and some 50 insurance brokers (intermediaries).